Dental teams work best when every member is on the same page, working towards a common goal. While members of these teams may have their unique approaches to get to that common goal, it’s integral that dental leaders find ways to make these approaches click and improve productivity. 

Additionally, good dental team members successfully contribute to the culture at a practice, ensuring everyone works in harmony to achieve common goals and collaborates effectively to improve daily operations. Company culture matters to 46% of job seekers, and people looking to join a dental team want to know that the practice has a culture that fosters a progressive environment. A good dental team knows how to communicate, step in when help is needed and has the emotional intelligence necessary to manage various situations, whether pleasant or painful. These key qualities separate good dental teams from mediocre ones. 

Strong Communication Skills 

Without consistent and strong communication, teams cannot function properly. Being able to relay information or collaborate with team members requires top-notch communication skills. Doing so creates higher trust levels within teams as they get accustomed to each other. 

Environments that encourage collaboration will:

  • Improve the communication capabilities of team members
  • Lead to a more motivated team willing to do productive tasks to improve the practice. 
  • Encourage more suggestions from team members, including industry knowledge
  • Provide encouragement when their fellow members are feeling down. 
  • Facilitate brainstorming among team members, making things more inclusive. 

Many temps feel like they don’t have the authority to speak on certain workplace issues when they arise. A collaborative environment allays those fears for dental temps, allowing them to share their experiences from working in other practices and how their current practice can learn from those experiences to improve how they run their operations. Dental temps will feel more encouraged to give their thoughts about what can be done to improve their practice performance. 

A dental team that exhibits strong communication skills will give dental leaders confidence when identifying ideal job candidates to grow the team. 

Positive Personalities and Conflict Resolution Capabilities

It helps to have dental team members who are usually in good spirits and keep the mood upbeat on the job site. Though dental offices are serious places, the team must do its best to ease the stress that often accompanies the job. Team members who know how to ease the tension with a good joke or a lighthearted approach will ensure their colleagues feel more comfortable in their surroundings, especially new hires. In an industry that tries to improve the smiles of the patients it accommodates, dental teams should smile more each day to try and improve the work culture.

Additionally, quality dental teams know how to handle conflict with aplomb. Whether over small factors or something major, conflict is bound to happen at some point within a team; due to differing viewpoints or struggling to agree on solutions. Conflict can be healthy as long as it’s constructive, fostering more creativity and potentially leading to the refining of workplace guidelines that may have been unclear. Top dental leaders can successfully help teams handle conflict by quickly diffusing situations and opening their doors to members who wish to voice their concerns. Successful conflict resolution enhances the reputation of the dental leaders charged with addressing conflict and builds greater understanding among team members. 

Understanding Strengths and Weaknesses 

The most functional dental teams understand the strengths and weaknesses of each team member and adjust accordingly. One of the biggest benefits of having a strong dental team is that dental leaders can delegate tasks and roles to team members who have the appropriate skill set to handle them. The more flexible dental team members are in assuming responsibilities, the more work that a dental practice accepts and the more patients they can care for each day, boosting the bottom line. 

Dental leaders can facilitate improved task delegation by creating task lists to break down the execution of dental projects. Leaders can assign these task lists to one or multiple people, set due dates, and comment on these tasks to determine progress reports.  After assigning task lists, you can better track how well dental team members are handling their responsibilities. 

Strong teams should have the right support systems to account for team members who struggle with their assigned tasks. Each day at a dental practice offers its fair share of challenges, and there will be times when a team member can’t handle all the demands they’re facing. Strong teams encourage each other, with team members helping each other develop their skills and improve their performance. Through encouragement and a strong support system, team members develop a greater bond and know what to expect of each other going forward. 

Winning dental teams know how to build up each other while building the reputation of the practices they work for, and it’s up to dental leaders to ensure the chemistry is at a high level. 

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Dr. James Younger graduated from Dentistry at the University of Toronto in 1999. Since then has been in private practice, providing a full scope of care, including implants and bone/sinus grafting. In April 2015, James was inspired by the idea of improving hygiene temping through modern mobile technology and thus TempStars was born. TempStars now makes it fast, easy, and stress-free for dental offices to find a good hygienist quickly and allows hygienists to live a busy, flexible, and empowered professional life. [email protected]

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